Rain Dance – Miami, Florida, United States

I was able to wake early enough to grab a quick snack and head to the internet shop. I decided to grab a coffee on the way and met a dude who obviously didn`t have English as a first language. I began fumbling around with my Spanish when he smiled and shook his head. Confused I asked him what language he wanted me to speak? He said French! Dios mio, I thought. My French is even more limited than my Spanish but he seemed glad I tried.

I plugged away as long as I could then headed off to the grocery store to stock up on a few supplies. I found some weird stuff called protein water and thought I would give it a try. It turned out to taste like a syrupy sickening sweet orange jello that would never set. It wasn`t nice. But I drank as much of it that I could before abandoning the effort but not before it exploded in my bag turning everything a shade of neon.

After a few last minute errands we met up and were off onto the bus to go to Bicentenial Park. We waited in the queue patiently as we watched four o`clock come and go. I wondered why they were not letting people in but it didn`t really start to get to me until the downpour. Sure enough, as luck would have it, some of the biggest fattest raindrops I have ever seen descended from the sky. Not in sprinkles or sporadically but in hoards effectively drenching all those who were waiting in the line to get in.

After we were all thoroughly soaked, they then decided to open the gates almost an hour late. Our spirit only slightly dampened, we sloshed in past the security and ticket takers. Once in, the sky suddenly cleared and the sun came out to dry up all the rain and itsy bitsy spider went…oh sorry…wrong music festival…anyway. Yeah so we headed over to the stage that Kruder and Dorfmeister were kicking out the beats at. I have liked them for a long time and have never had the opportunity to see them. They are played a great set and it was a good beginning to a great festival.

We watched the partygoers trickle in and the stages fill up. Only four out of the nine stages would be used tonight as the real party apparently starts tomorrow. I enjoyed some excellent people watching and made a note of the different vibe here compared to other similar parties I have attended. I didn`t know if it was the amount of people or just the location but it was a little less friendly than what I am used to.

I did however quite enjoy several of the DJs who I had come to see. I was quite shocked when I found JunkieXL only slotted in for a half hour set. He is a phenomenal showman who really enjoys what he does. Even those who don`t know his style seemed to be quite impressed with his ability to move the crowd. The Cure came on after that and I was gone like a shot. I am not into them at all and found myself gallivanting at other stages to kill time before Tiesto closed the place down.

Neil, Ali and I made our way relatively close to the stage and waited for him to start. The problem was that the place was so packed it was near impossible to move much less dance. I made a few friends in the area and twice was hoisted above the crowd on some dudes shoulders. It was fun for a while to be able to be high up and have a clear view of the stage. Then I got a little uncomfortable and wanted to come down because my back was hurting.

I started to feel old and wondered if I maybe shouldn`t have stretched beforehand. I actually needed to sit down pretty bad near the end of his two hour set when I somehow pulled a muscle and it began to spasm. I guess he played ok but perhaps the crowdedness of it all and the physical discomfort clouded my experience a little. I also wish he would have interacted with the crowd a little more.

He is good at what he does but has become a little too disconnected and out of reach, in my opinion. I guess that`s what happens when you get too big. That said, the classics that he played still got to me and brought back some good memories. He even paid tribute to Fat Boy Slim who would be on tomorrow night and I thought that was nice.

We ended up having a bit of a conundrum on how we were going to get home at the end of the night. The mob was thick and we had no clue when or how things would thin out. Apparently the buses had stopped and there seemed to be a severe cab shortage.

After a few suggestions of walking back to South Beach, I made a very clear intention that we would find a safe affordable comfortable way home. Within a few minutes we came upon a bus that just happened to be going by our hotel. I guess the information we had was incorrect or we had just caught the last bus running. The bus driver lady let us on and I collapsed into the seat with a very audible sigh of relief. It wasn`t long after that that I was able to hit the sack in attempt to mend my weary and inflamed muscles before the next day we would do it all again…

Grateful for buses.

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